Cricket: England lick their wounds after defeat
England are digesting the home truths of their unexpected trouncing by South Africa at the Oval, and promising to put things right in the second Investec Test at Headingley.
Andrew Strauss’ team did not shirk the issues in an honest meeting on Monday night, after losing the first match of just three by an innings and 12 runs.
England’s bowlers could take only two wickets in 189 overs as Hashim Amla’s historic triple-hundred and centuries from Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis gave them no hope.
The hosts lost all 20 of their own wickets without even matching South Africa’s monumental 637 for two declared, and therefore ended up losing with a session to spare. England’s hard-earned world No 1 Test ranking is therefore in peril, after five defeats in their last nine matches. One more in either of their next two will mean South Africa depose them at the top of the table.
“We had a good chat last night. Some real good honesty was talked around the team. That’s where we’ve come as a team. Whether we win or lose, we try to get things as honest as possible,” said Ian Bell. “We didn’t play well enough here and we’ve got to sort that out. I know for a fact it hurt every single player in that team to lose this game and I’m sure there will be a reaction when we get to Headingley.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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